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Last Week's Frugal Accomplishments

Daffodils in the Garden The Prudent Homemaker

I watched the bees working on the apple tree blossoms.

I sowed seeds for lettuce, Swiss chard, alpine strawberries, New Zealand Spinach, nasturtiums,  zucchini, butternut squash, radishes, and artichokes.

I planted some asparagus crowns in the garden.

Pea Vines on Trellis The Prudent Homemaker

My son and I took apart some old tomato cages and flattened them. We had made them from the 6-inch concrete mesh that you can get on a roll at Lowe's. I am using the wire mesh to grow beans, peas, and cucumbers instead. We attached these to stakes (that we already had) that we pounded into the ground where we needed them.

Radish Bouquet The Prudent Homemaker

I harvested lemons, lettuce, arugula, green onions, radishes, parsley, lemon verbena, Swiss chard, and the first couple of snow peas from the garden.

Lemons on Cutting Board The Prudent Homemaker

I juiced lemons from the garden and made lemonade.

I returned several pots to the local nursery. They give a recycling credit for the larger pots. I used my credit towards the purchase of some bulk topsoil.

I used a $15 off $50 coupon at Target for trash bags and stain remover. Since these items rarely go on sale (and when they do, it's usually just a tiny bit off) and these are items I buy anyway, I was happy to have the coupon to lower my total cost.

I made a triple batch of laundry soap.

My husband cut his own hair. I trimmed the baby's hair.

My husband recovered one of our boy's bicycle seats using a scrap of leather we had left from recovering our living room chairs. He removed the staples from the old seat, drew around the existing worn cover on the leather, cut it out, and used a staple gun to staple on the new cover.

I paused to watch the jets fly overhead. I see them often when I am working in the garden. 

I took time to enjoy the beautiful sunrises and sunsets.

I enjoyed the hummingbirds in the garden. They visited the blossoms on the lemon trees. The lemon tree blossoms smell wonderful, and I was able to enjoy them while I worked under them almost every day this past week.


What did you do to save money last week? What simple things brought you joy?


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  • Lisa March 06, 2017

    What a great week you had. What a blessing to have those lemons! I hope to one day have a dwarf orchard like yours. I need to learn what varieties will work here in North Georgia. Do you have advice about learning that? I NEVER hear of anyone talking about dwarf fruit trees here.

    My husband and I went to Gibbs Gardens here in Ballground, Georgia. I noticed your daffodils. Gibbs Gardens has the largest concentration of daffodils outside of Holland! It was beautiful. We decided to become members. They have 4 seasons of gardens and offer music in the gardens, garden talks and plant sales.

    See our recap of February here:

  • K March 06, 2017

    Lisa, you may want to check out Starkbros- . It may give you a place to start looking!

  • Athanasia March 06, 2017

    We have successfully ordered from Stark Brothers.

  • Lisa March 06, 2017

    Thanks, K!

  • Gardenpat March 06, 2017

    For growing your own mini-orchard, I prefer the book "Grow a little fruit tree"! This has you plant regular fruit trees that do well in your locale (saving you the extra cost of dwarf trees!) and has step by step planting and pruning guides to keep the trees between 6- 7 foot tall so you can harvest without a ladder!

    We planted 10 trees last Spring -4 apple in a 10 x 10 foot space, 2 peach, 2 pear, 1 Chinese apricot and 1 Aprium. Those were planted 3 to a space that was 8x 8!!! We staggered the harvesting as they recommended too so that the first tree will harvest in early June and the final will harvest around the end of October!
    We plan to plant one more space with 3 cherry trees in a few weeks!

  • Amie March 08, 2017

    Contact nurseries and National parks in your area. They usually have info or can tell you who to contact. Library may also have books pertaining to local interests. Ask the librarian, you'd be surprised.

  • Our family has been enjoying star gazing. The evenings have been beautiful, and from our front yard you can see a million stars! They also got to sled for an hour or two before the sun melted the snow. We haven't had a very snowy winter this year.

    Here are the ways I saved last week:

  • Steph. March 06, 2017

    Wow, I love looking at stars! How wonderful that you can see so many where you are!

  • Roxie March 06, 2017

    I took two boxes of wild flower seeds I got at Dollar Tree and sowed them into the ground around the fence of the garden. They look so pretty when the bloom. I just love to see the bloom.

    I made the kids an apron from recycled jeans with a bunny rabbit (looks like the peeks bunny) for an Easter gift. Also will give them a box of seeds and a trowel for their Easter basket. (better than candy)

    Made muffins with frozen bananas, made peanut butter cookies, and a loaf of the no kneed bread yesterday.

    We went to the Taylor meat company Saturday morning to buy some meat. Had some great sales and I got 28 pounds of beef, 3 pounds of bacon, and 4 pounds of wieners for $63.00. They sell the best ground beef.

    Cleaned up my desk and paid bills. Printed several new recipes. Will try several of the recipes this week.

    We had so much rain on Saturday that we could not get into the garden. So we just made some plans for next weeks garden work.

  • MimiPaula March 06, 2017

    Roxy, our family LOVES the Taylor Meat Company wieners; those bright red casings put smiles on the faces of our thirteen g-kids!

  • Becky March 06, 2017

    I woke up this morning to snow! Amazing, here in our part of Oregon, especially in March. The schools are closed and everything. So, I've been sitting here watching snowflakes swirl around, reveling in the fact that my husband has the day off. I think I'll make some soup. I have had several weeks of working a lot of extra hours. I'm taking my joy in the fact that I just received a gift of some unexpected time to stay at home, without any homeschool since my niece cannot get over here, and just putz around.

    I am working on a low-budget grocery challenge in March, while still taking advantage of excellent bargains I might find. Last evening, my husband found some potatoes for 10c/lb. He bought 25 lbs, and maybe I should have had him get 50 at that price!

    I've been doing a little sewing, and have high hopes that I might be able to get that back out today.

    We had company yesterday after church and had a very nice time. I made tacos. I made a huge batch of homemade refried beans, bought tortillas at Cash and Carry, and they brought shredded cheese. I used home-canned salsa and made a bunch of cookies from ingredients on hand. So, it was extremely frugal, even to have 13 of us eating the noon mean. We had so much fun visiting with them.

    I wrote the rest of the things I could remember on my blog:

  • Athanasia March 06, 2017

    Snow days can be wonderful, no matter how old we get.

    At .10 / pound I'd have bought at least 100 pounds. Did you go back for more?

  • Becky March 07, 2017

    I went back this morning, and they still had some potatoes left. It was the first time I could get down there and I was afraid they would be gone. I now have 100 lbs. I got some for my sister and a friend, as well. It is so much food for so little money, they store well, and there are so many ways to fix them. I'm really happy I could get more.

  • Athanasia March 08, 2017


  • Elizabeth M. March 06, 2017

    The main frugal accomplishment was shopping around for home insurance after receiving a renewal notice with a 20% hike in the premium. The new insurance is 60% lower than what the old insurance company wanted, partly because of a change in deductible, partly become of combining the car and home insurance with one company, but mostly because of different pricing.

    The library I work in is trying extended hours one day a week for three months, which gives me a few extra hours of work a week. We are starting month 3. I haven't heard officially, but it is looking like they want to continue this. I have a small, but growing group of people who come every Wednesday morning.

  • Margaret March 06, 2017

    Your photos - and your garden - are so inspirational, Brandy!

    My frugal accomplishments for the week:
    - Made a batch of yoghurt. I bought the starter yoghurt on sale for $2/large container.
    - Made a batch of Brandy’s tomato basil soup (used milk instead of cream/evaporated milk, because that was what I had in the house) for lunches for me and dinners for the DH.
    - Made a pitcher of iced tea from tea gifted to me, and sweetened it with the last of some syrup from a container of home-canned peaches plus the sweetened juice from a can of mandarins that I opened
    - Redeemed a coupon for a cookie at Subway
    - Redeemed points from my Starbucks card for a free lunchbox
    - Watered down the grape juice I bought at Costco, by mixing it with an equal amount of homemade soda water. Healthy grape soda!
    - Removed salt stains from my leather shoes using white vinegar, then polished them.
    - Mixed some used peat pellets with some new soil to create enriched soil that would retain water, and then planted some lettuce seeds. I’m reusing a mini plastic greenhouse, and have placed it near my window to avoid growing ‘leggy lettuce’ as I did last time. Right now the other plants in front of the balcony window are thriving, so I’m crossing my fingers that I won’t end up with leggy lettuce again.
    - I bought a packet of tulip bulbs and a packet of crocus bulbs several months ago, and had been chilling them in the fridge. I picked up two bags of polished stones at the dollar store, placed them in the bottom of some wide vases that I already have, filled the vases with water to the top of the stones, and placed the bulbs on top. They’re sprouting! My plan is to end up ‘forcing’ the bulbs, so that I have lovely spring flowers indoors, even though outside temperatures are fluctuating between bitterly cold and unseasonably warm. My country-raised DH laughed at the fact that I bought stones, but living in the city, it would have taken me my entire Saturday to commute to the closest beach, gather the stones, and commute back. For me, that was worth $2, so that I can spend that time with the DH instead. So it could have been more frugal, but I do like the polished look of the stones – suits our condo décor better than unpolished stones anyway, I think!
    - Baked a batch of Brandy’s lemon poppyseed muffins, and froze them for easy snacks.
    - Baked a batch of Banana Crumb muffins and froze them for easy snacks too.
    - Bought a summer dress from Old Navy for $3 and change, as it was on sale for $12 and then I used a $10 gift certificate from Swagbucks. And, it’s stretchy, so if we start expanding our family in the next year, it’ll still fit.
    - When I was at the mall, Shoppers Drug Mart was giving out little bags with free samples, so I took one and got two face cream samples, and a full-size dry shampoo spray. I’ll give the dry shampoo to my sister, as I don’t use the product.
    - I used a $10 gift card to Shoppers Drug Mart to pay for a small birthday gift for the DH.
    - Made strawberry jam, using strawberries bought on sale this week, as part of a strawberries custard n’ cream cake I’ll be making for the DH later this week.
    - Made my eggless chocolate pudding for desserts this week. Yum!

    Looking forward to learning from everyone else as always!

  • Rhonda A. March 06, 2017

    Margaret, you may want to hang onto that dry shampoo for your own stash. If you are thinking about adding to your family, it just might come in handy. For instance, if you have a surgery (such as a c-section) you may not be able to have a shower for a couple days. Being able to clean your hair will help you feel better as you recoup. It could also come in handy if you loose access to water during an emergency. After all, pipes have been bursting and/or sink holes have developed all over Toronto recently. Dry shampoo can come in really handy at the most unexpected moments.

  • Margaret @approachingfood March 06, 2017

    I never thought about it, but dry shampoo would be a rather nice luxury to have in an emergency stash! Thanks for the idea, Rhonda!

  • Jennifer March 07, 2017

    You can also make dry shampoo for pennies! Blonde - Cornstarch Brunette - 1/2 cup cornstarch - 2 - 3 tbsp cocoa powder Red Head 1/2 cup cornstarch - 2 - 3 tbsp cocoa powder 1 tsp cinnamon.

  • Rhonda A. March 06, 2017

    Such beautiful photos you share with us every week, Brandy. I also enjoyed reading your simple moments of joy this week as well.

    It's been a quiet week, mostly spent at home. This week our frugal accomplishments included:
    *Meals made at home included beef/shepherds pie casserole (made with leftover roast beef and leftover veggies), chicken souvlaki with tzatziki sauce, flavoured rice and green beans, crock pot meatballs in Diana's sauce with mashed potatoes and green beans, pancakes with choice of table syrup or home canned apple syrup (made from apple cores and peeling) and breakfast sausages, cheesy ham & broccoli pasta (new recipe), piggies-in-a-blanket (made with the leftover breakfast sausages) with salad or chicken strips with baked potato and peas,
    *Tried a new pasta recipe which used pretty basic ingredients I normally have on hand. It used up some ham from my freezer, came together very quickly and, as a bonus, used only one pot! Family seemed to like it, too, so I will add this to my family favourites meal options list. Here's the recipe link if anyone is interested:
    *While making dinner on the weekend, I decided to cook extra chicken fingers for my daughter to use as a lunch option. At the same time, I also cooked some hashbrown patties for a quick breakfast option next week. Cooking extra all at once saved hydro and my time in the long run.
    *I baked a batch of brownies (from a mix) on Sunday. I cut the squares and individually wrapped enough for my daughter's school lunches. After some arguing over how much each person would get, the leftovers were devoured for dessert that night with much enthusiasm.
    *Due to a heavier grocery shopping trip last week, my budget for this week was pretty slim. So I used my grocery store loyalty points, allowing me to get $40 worth of groceries for free.
    *I tried to stay out of the stores this week as much as possible to avoid unnecessary spending.
    *Watched a few free movies on Kodi Genesis, some of which are currently still in theaters.
    *My daughter had a Dr's appointment this week. As a result of this appointment, she is being referred to 4 different specialists for various issues. Since we live in Canada, our health care means there was no cost out of pocket for this appointment nor for the subsequent specialist appointments as well. Thank goodness we have health care...I don't even want to think about how much this would cost if we didn't!
    *My mother and I discussed some changes we might make this summer to enlarge the gardening space. We are hoping to redo the back deck. Since the gardens underneath will most likely be trampled by the men working on it, I will avoid planting there this year. We discussed rebuilding this garden area to replace the rotted railway ties and possibly expanding the size while we're at it. Also, we discussed reusing some of the sturdier pieces of wood from the deck to build a couple raised garden beds in the yard. To avoid paying so much for dirt to fill the new beds, I proposed we fill the bottom with compostable food scraps, the Guinea pigs bedding, yard/garden waste (no weeds), and fallen leaves. Next year we can then add dirt to fill it the rest of the way. So although my gardening will be limited to pots this year, I'm hoping to have a bigger garden area next year!
    Simply Joyful Life Moments This Week:
    *Enjoyed several kitty cuddle sessions with our cats this week. Nothing more pleasurable than listening to soft purring in your ear as they knead their feet gently in pure just makes the world a better place to live!

    Can't wait to read everyone's comments. Wishing you all a wonderful week ahead!:D

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